In the path of Christ the time surely comes when faith is put to the proof. It is one
thing in the confidence of grace and at the summons of the truth to turn one’s back
on the fairest pretension opposed to His name; it is quite another to stand firm and
unabashed when not only the world turns from us, but desertion sets in among those who
confess Him. How few can stand the loss of valued associations, not to speak of their
taunts and persecutions! This abnormal state was dawning on the sensitive and distresses
spirit of Timothy. It has long been the ordinary experience for the faithful in
Christendom. What a frightful illustration of it even recent years have furnished.